Theater

France Go Full Screen

The renovation of a 19th century theater gave Jean Nouvel an opportunity to demonstrate the validity of principles set out in previous designs with Jaques Le Marquet. The ideal approach is to highlight the characteristic features of the building's architecture. The original Belfort building had undergone a haphazard series of alterations and additions. Nouvel mitigates the effect of these bush-hammering hatching into the shoddy plasterwork thus exposing the brick. An opening onto town was hewn out of the blind façade perched over the river. This new opening was an architectural section in a very literal sense and it revealed the life of the building, its reharsal rooms, brasserie and bar. The interior treatment combines two contrasting aesthetic approaches: The first, conceived by Gary J. Glaser, tends to recreate and enhance the pomp and finery of former periods by highlighting the mannered gilding, moldings and frescos, reinterpreting the auditorium's color scheme; while the other transfixing the dilapidated spaces, illuminating them subtle motifs-punk dignified by an unexpected touch of sophistication. With its electronic bulletin boards and flashing neon lights, the theatre proclaims its revamped past and its new vocation.
Olivier Boissiere
Jean Nouvel

STATUS Inaugurated 1984
LOCATION Belfort, France
NET FLOOR AREA 3 300m2, 33 000sq ft
PROGRAM Renovation of the Municipal Theater; two foyers, a 700-seat room, a 60-seat room, two rehearsal rooms, exhibition space, offices, bar
CONSTRUCTION COST 1 830 000 $
CLIENT City of Belfort
ARCHITECTURAL TEAM
Jean Nouvel, Gilbert Lezenes, Dominique Lyon
PROJECT MANAGER Dominique Lyon
CONSULTANT TEAM
SCENOGRAPHY Jacques Le Marquet, Bernard Jaunay
ACOUSTICS M.Armagnac
SECURITY Casso Gaudin
INTERIOR DESIGN Gary Glaser
VISUAL ARTS François Seigneur, P.Martin